Do you want to watch movies and TV shows on services like Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon, or HBO Go from abroad? Do you want to torrent without fear of getting caught? Is staying safe from hackers while using public Wi Fi hotspots important to you? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you need a Virtual Private Network (VPN)! And that’s where we can help! We’ve reviewed hundreds of companies many times for over 5 years to help you find the best vpns available on the market today.
What Is a VPN?
A VPN is an online service that allows you to:
- Hide what you get up to on the internet from your ISP.
- Hide what you get up to from your government and the NSA.
- Evade website blocks and other forms of censorship, whether put into place by your government, school, or work place.
- Geo-spoof your location so you can watch services such as US Netflix and BBC iPlayer wherever you live in the world.
- P2P torrent download safely.
|10.0||Visit Site »|
|9.8||Visit Site »|
|9.6||Visit Site »|
25% OFF Exclusive on this site.
|9.2||Visit Site »|
|8.8||Visit Site »|
VPNs are the Swiss army knife of internet privacy and security. Check out What is a VPN? to find out more!
Why Do I Need a VPN?
A recent survey showed that around 40% of our readers use a VPN primarily to access media streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. They are also a major boon to sports fans, allowing you to watch sporting events such as the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), and English Premier League. These are often restricted to users in the service’s country of origin.
A VPN also hides your internet activity from your ISP, as it secures all data traveling between your computer and the VPN server. This makes VPNs very effective at preventing blanket surveillance of the kind carried out by the NSA and GCHQ, as well as securing your privacy when torrenting online.
Which VPN Should I Choose?
With many streaming services attempting to ban VPN users these days, the primary consideration for streaming is whether a VPN actually unblocks the service you wish to stream!
If privacy is your main concern, as a torrenter for example, then choose a good no logs VPN. It’s also good to avoid VPNs based in countries notorious for their state surveillance. Strong encryption and technical security are also important, but not as important as the logs a provider keeps.
VPN Services: FAQs
Can I Use a VPN Service on My Mobile Phone or Tablet?
Every service in existence provides support for Android and iPhone devices. Windows Phones are also well supported. Older Blackberry devices are much less so, but it possible to use a VPN with them.
Please do be aware, however, of a major caveat when using one on a mobile device. When using your mobile browser, the VPN will do everything a VPN does on a desktop system. Mobile apps, however, can and do send a great deal of personal information directly to both the platform provider (for example, Google or Apple), and to the app developer.
The NordVPN Android app
This information can include your phone’s unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, Global Positioning System (GPS) location data, your contact lists, your Google Play/iTunes ID, and much more.
A VPN can’t prevent an app sending this information. Therefore, to benefit fully from the VPN you should avoid apps. Access services via their web portals using your mobile browser instead.
How Do I Set up a VPN?
Most VPNs these days offer custom apps for the major platforms. To use a VPN all that is usually required is:
- Register an account with your one of the providers listed above.
- Download the relevant client or app for your device(s). Most providers send a confirmation email upon registration that contains all the links you’ll need. If not, a Downloads area should be clearly labeled on the website.
- Install and run the app. You’ll be likely be prompted to enter your account details on first run.
The exact details of how custom clients and apps are used varies a great deal. Check out our individual VPN reviews for in-depth looks at their software.
If your platform isn’t supported, your provider will provide detailed manual setup guides for configuring your devices, using its inbuilt VPN client or third-party software. Some providers offer better guides than others, but all get the job done.
How do I Test My VPN Is Working?
To test that your VPN is working, visit ipleak.net. If the VPN is working then “Your IP addresses” should show the IP of the VPN server, not your real IP address. If you’ve connected to a server in a different country, it is very easy to see whether your IP has changed.
Here I am in the UK, connected to a US VPN server with no IP leaks. My ISP doesn’t currently support Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), but if your does then also look out for IPv6 leaks!
If you see an IP address belonging either to yourself or your ISP, then you have an IP leak. This includes IPv4 DNS leaks, IPv6 leaks, and Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) leaks. Please consult our Complete Guide to IP Leaks to find out why this might be, and how to fix the issue.
What is the Best VPN Protocol to Use?
A VPN protocol is the set of instructions used to negotiate a secure encrypted connection between two computers. A number of such protocols are commonly supported by commercial VPNs. The best protocol for you depends on what you’re using your VPN for.
A widely supported protocol that is no longer considered secure. Use with older devices if necessary.
A widely supported protocol. It’s not secure against the NSA, but suitable for general use.
A new standard that is both faster and more secure. Mobile users may prefer it to OpenVPN thanks to its reconnect feature when an internet connection is interrupted.
An open source protocol is widely regarded as the most secure and versatile VPN protocol available. Use OpenVPN whenever possible.
For more information on this subject, check out our VPN Encryption: The Complete Guide.
Can a VPN Unblock US Netflix?
Yes! The good news is that successfully spoofing your location is enough to access any local version of Netflix. Netflix does not require that your account and payment method be registered to that country.
The Bad news is that following intense pressure from copyright holders, NetFlix will block anyone it detects using a VPN to bypass its geo-restrictions. So it’s important that you use one of our recommended Netlix VPNs if this is what you’re looking to do.
What is the Fastest VPN Service?
By far the biggest downside of a VPN is that it will slow down your internet. This is inevitable.
Some services have invested heavily in fast server networks that can handle the VPN processing needs of many users at once. The result is that with a good fast VPN service, you can achieve 85%+ of your full internet speeds if connected to a nearby server.
If speed is a main concern for you any of the VPNs on this page should serve you well. But, if you’re looking for more choice, we recommend checking out our fastest VPN provider.
As you can see, VPNs are a very versatile tool! For many, they are just a convenient way to unblock Netflix from abroad. However, they are also a valuable privacy and security tool. Given that a top VPN can cost only a few bucks per month, it’s madness not to use one!